Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe is still one of the most popular routines for beginners. Legend has it that skinny men can experience steroid-like growth when the routine is coupled with the nutritional ”plan” GOMAD. Unfortunately, the after results do not look promising at all. Most people just get to about 25% body fat, add a couple of plates to their squat, and claim superhero status.
Another negative side effect of Starting Strength is that most people don’t get the desired upper body size. Very few people, if any, have actually built big arms on Starting Strength. The reason for that is that Starting Strength is a low volume squat heavy program.
Sadly, many beginners are misled into believing that if they squat as often as humanly possible, they will transform themselves into some kind of muscle machines. I am almost sorry to inform you, but this does not happen on Starting Strength or any other program for that matter when you are natural. The exaggerated claims are meant to boost sales. Even if you squat all day long, you will not get closer to the level of the guys you see in the magazines. Why? Because the natty limits are lower.
In general, Starting Strength is not that bad of a routine. It’s well structured and has some logic behind it. However, the muscle gains on the program are not that phenomenal. If arms are a high priority for you, you will have to do some modifications. For example, you could reduce the squatting sessions in favor of more upper body work. I promise not to tell anyone, especially Rippetoe.